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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

294---------------------------------------------------------------------.
for further evasion on the part of the Czechs. He insisted
that a speedy solution was essential, on account of the oppres-
sion and terrorism to which the Sudeten Germans were being
subjected, and he proceeded to give me the main outlines of
the proposal which he subsequently embodied in a memo-
randum—except that he did not in this conversation actually
name any time limit.
" Hon. Members will realise the perplexity in which I
found myself, faced with this totally unexpected situation.
I had been told at Berchtesgaden that if the principle of self-
determination were accepted, Herr Hitler would discuss with
me the ways and means of carrying it out. He told me after-
wards that he never for one moment supposed that I should
be able to come back and say that the principle was accepted.
I do not want hon. Members to think that he was deliberately
deceiving me—I do not think so for one moment—but, for
me, I expected that when I got back to Godesberg I had only
to discuss quietly with him the proposals that I had brought
with me ; and it was a profound shock to me when I was told
at the beginning of the conversation that these proposals
were not acceptable, and that they were to be replaced by
other proposals of a kind which I had not contemplated at
all.
" I felt that I must have a little time to consider what I
was to do. Consequently, I withdrew, my mind full of
foreboding as to the success of my mission. I first, however,
obtained from Herr Hitler an extension of his previous
assurance, that he would not move his troops pending the
results of the negotiations. I, on my side, undertook to
appeal to the Czech Government to avoid any action which
might provoke incidents. I have seen speculative accounts
of what happened on the next day, which have suggested
that long hours passed whilst I remained on one side of the
Rhine and Herr Hitler on the other, because I had difficulty
in obtaining this assurance from him about the moving of
his troops. I want to say at once that that is purely imaginary.
There was no such difficulty. I will explain in a moment
what did cause the delay; but the assurance was given
readily, and it has been, as I have said before, abided by
right up to the present time.